Title: ICT interventions impacting big societal challenges: an electronic healthcare approach to homelessness

Authors: Punit Ahluwalia; Gregory Gimpel; Upkar Varshney

Addresses: Information Systems Department, College of Business and Entrepreneurship, University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley, Edinburg, TX-78541, USA ' Department of Computer Information Systems, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA-30303, USA ' Department of Computer Information Systems, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA-30303, USA

Abstract: This paper investigates how electronic healthcare technology can address a pervasive societal problem: homelessness. Mental illness, a leading cause of homelessness, can be treated successfully with proper medication. Few psychiatric patients, however, adhere to the medication regimen prescribed by their doctors. We employ a systems thinking approach to model the multi-dimensional decision system by which patients choose whether or not to take medication. We identify that interventions raising patients' self-efficacy will significantly improve medication adherence among mentally ill patients and that it can translate into a reduction of homelessness. This paper makes two key research contributions: it calls attention to the study of medication adherence within electronic healthcare research and it proposes a systems dynamics model that highlights how, when addressing complex societal challenges, affordances during one time period can become constraints in another.

Keywords: medication adherence; IT intervention; simulation; societal challenges; homelessness; mental illness; psychiatric patients; smartphones; self-efficacy; system dynamics; systems thinking; ICT; information and communications technology; information technology; electronic healthcare; e-healthcare; decision making; modelling.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEH.2015.075352

International Journal of Electronic Healthcare, 2015 Vol.8 No.2/3/4, pp.95 - 120

Available online: 15 Mar 2016 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article